Going to university requires more effort and planning for working-class students who do not see it as the norm and are more likely to face financial hardships while studying, research suggests.
A new study reveals that gaining a degree is often still “a hope rather than expectation” for students from lower-income families, while their richer peers are more likely to accept it as normal.
It adds that the difficulties that working-class youngsters go through to get into university and complete their degrees helps them to become more resilient and prepare them for the working world.
The paired peers project, led by researchers at Bristol University and the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), tracked 40 pairs of undergraduates from different backgrounds while they were studying to examine their experiences.
Once on a degree course, middle-class students usually have financial support from their parents, while those from lower-income families can end up working while they study, which gives them less time for extra-curricular activities, the researchers said.
The study goes on to say that middle-class students also benefit from family links and networks not open to those from working-class homes that help them gain jobs when they graduate.